How to Register a Domain Name

Written by MacHighway Team on February 26, 2019

domain name on your mac

You’re ready to create an awesome — and seriously profitable — website.

But you can’t do it without claiming your domain name first.

The only thing stopping you from making your dream website a reality? The fact that you have absolutely no idea how to find and claim a domain name in the first place.

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about registering a domain name on your Mac.

We’ll also fill you in on why a domain name is so important, how it differs from a website, and what you should do after you claim your domain.

Get ready to build the perfect site for your business.

What Is a Domain Name?

Before we get into anything else, let’s first ensure that you have a clear understanding of what exactly a domain name is.

In short, your domain name is your website’s address — what people click on in order to be redirected to your website. Your domain name is uniquely yours — meaning that another website cannot claim it as their own.

For example, one of the most famous domain name’s is:

https://www.google.com

This is what people type into their Internet search and browser bar in order to be taken to Google’s website.

Your domain name is also what allows people to both find and identify computers. Computers have their own IP addresses, which are a series of letters and numbers. Of course, it’s a bit of a challenge for people to memorize a string of random letters and numbers to get to the places they want on the Internet!

So, to make things much easier, domain names were created to be used in place of IP addresses online.

Your domain name can be pretty much anything you want — words, a phrase, letters, and numbers, or a combination of all of those things. It also includes what’s known as your domain name extension.

While the most common domain name extension is “.com,” that is far from the only option. Other domain name extension options include .net, .org, .biz, and many more.

Domain Names vs. Websites: What’s the Difference?

Remember that your domain name is not the same thing as the website itself.

To clearly illustrate this, think of your domain name as your telephone number, and your website as the phone itself.

If you get a new phone, you can still keep your old phone number. You’ll just need to set up that phone number on your new phone.

Maybe you want to switch phone service providers, but hang onto your phone.

However, the same number cannot be used by two people at once.

What does this mean when it comes to domain names? You can buy a new domain name at any time, and connect it to your current website. The content will stay the same, and only the domain name — the website address — will change.

You can also create an entirely new website, and disconnect your domain name from the old site to the new one. When someone types in the old or new website name, they’ll be redirected to the new website.

In other words?

Your domain name isn’t wed to a website for all time. You can disconnect your domain name from a website, and move it to a new one.

However, in order to be able to do all of this, you need to actually register your domain name. Before we get into how to make that happen?

Why Should You Get a Domain Name?

First of all, a domain name makes it easy for your target market to find you online.

Your business, especially in today’s world, simply can’t survive without a website — no matter how small or large your company is. It’s important to pick a domain name that’s as close to the name of your business or somehow relevant to what you do as is possible.

Pick a domain name that sticks, and one that’s easy to remember.

Having a registered domain name also helps to boost your business’s credibility and improve your reputation. This is also essential for those who are looking to work with advertisers and sponsors as a part of their website.

Additionally, when you have your domain name, you can switch your web hosting services at any time without losing it and then having to create a new website address.

Your URL address will stay the same once you own your domain name, even if you work with a different hosting provider. This ensures that you don’t lose business and that your brand recognition doesn’t become in any way muddled.

Now that you’re clear on the most important basics, let’s talk about how to find a domain.

Registering a Domain Name

The good news is that the process of registering and claiming a domain name on your Mac isn’t as difficult as you might think.

The process is straightforward, and you definitely don’t have to be a computer whiz to figure it out. Remember that you won’t be able to buy a domain name that’s already in use.

Read on for a simple, step-by-step process of domain name registration.

1) A Word About ICANN

All domain name registration applications go through a nonprofit organization called ICANN. This is short for “Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers” (quite a mouthful, we know.)

However, you need to understand that ICANN doesn’t actually sell these domain names. They just work to make sure they’re properly allocated.

This means that, in order to actually get your domain name, you need to go through a domain name registrar.

2) Choosing a Domain Name Registrar

When you’re ready to claim your Mac domains, you need to make sure you find the best possible domain name registrar.

You can buy your domain name directly from a registrar, or, depending on the provider, you may be able to get it as a part of a larger overall web hosting package you buy from a provider.

So, what should you look for in a domain name registrar?

First of all, they should have tools on hand that will allow you to ensure the domain name you’re interested in buying is currently available.

They will also be able to provide you with a variety of different extensions, whether that’s .com, .edu, or other options. Make sure you also understand the fee structure.

In other words, how much will it cost you to own your domain name every year?

Do they have trained representatives available to help you throughout the process? What about other online resources that you can browse through to find the right information you need?

You should look for a secure provider that offers SiteBuilder capabilities in addition to VPS and other hosting options.

3) Secure Your Domain Name

Once you’ve found a provider you feel comfortable with, it’s time for you to claim the domain name you want as your own.

The truth is that, as soon as you’ve decided on the specific domain name you want, you should move as quickly as you can to secure it. Trust us when we tell you that you’re likely not the only one who has thought of a catchy name.

In some cases, your competitors may even try to buy what they think your domain name is likely to be before you can secure it. Then, they’ll either hold it for ransom or force you to pick a less obvious name that’s harder for your client base to remember.

You can either create your domain name from scratch and register it with the registrar, or you can transfer an existing domain name to a new registrar.

Just type in the domain name you’d like in the search tool and choose your extension. Then, you’ll be shown whether or not it’s available. You may also be shown other suggestions about potential domain names that are similar to the one you initially requested.

If it is, all you need to do is add it to your cart, pay for it, and the domain name is yours!

See?

We told you the process isn’t as tough as you thought.

How to Find a Domain

Maybe you’re interested in learning more about how to find a domain name.

This will allow you to share your computer’s network address/domain with other people, make the file sharing process easier, and much more.

Or, maybe you’re just curious.

Like the domain registration process itself, finding the domain name on your Mac isn’t that difficult.

Click on the Apple icon in the lefthand corner of your screen. Then, you should select the “System Preferences” option.

Then, select the “Sharing” folder. You can select many different types of sharing, including Remote Login, Remote Management, or even File Sharing. You’ll then see the domain name as provided by the DNS (Domain Name System) at the top of the screen.

What to Do After You Register Your Domain Name

Now, you know pretty much everything you need to about registering Mac domains.

You know what to look for in a registrar, how to ensure your domain name is actually available, and much more. You’ve paid for your domain name — so now what should you do?

The next step is actually setting up your website.

We strongly suggest working with the same provider when it comes to your web hosting needs, your domain name registration, and your website building.

So, what should you look for in a website building service?

Read on below to find out.

What to Look for in a Website Builder

As of this writing, there are over 1 billion websites currently online.

This means that, no matter how specific your niche is, you likely have some kind of competition. Building a website that’s visually pleasing, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly is what sets your website apart from the literally millions of others just like it.

So, you need to ensure you have a website building tool that’s up to the task.

Look for one that offers lots of different themes and customizable templates. You want the look of your website to be on brand, and unique.

Ensure that the design tool also works to help optimize your website for search engines through built-in SEO. This means it focuses on things like good HTML formatting, sitemaps, meta descriptions, and much more.

When you’re building your website, we think that using a drag and drop formula just makes everything easier. This way, you can add text, photographs, and even maps with total ease.

You should also look for a site building tool that offers 24/7 support. If you have a question while you’re creating your site, you want to be able to get an answer to it as quickly as possible.

Make sure that, if you’re selling things on your website, the builder is also ready to handle e-commerce solutions.

Ready to Claim Your Domain Name?

We hope that this post has helped you to understand just how easy it really is to claim a domain name.

The truth is that you don’t have to be a tech expert to figure it out — or spend tons of money to make it happen.

Are you looking for a top domain name registrar? Need help finding a hosting solution that works for you? Ready to start building the perfect website.

We can help you with all of that and so much more.

Learn more about the services that we have to offer, and get in touch with us with any questions.